Gun ownership is rising. Regardless of the reason(s) this is happening and has been in the US this past year. Many think it was politically generated when Obama made some statements about eliminating assault rifles. Doesn’t really matter, gun ownership is on the rise. What does worry a lot of gun owners and others is how are these people being educated and trained about what it means to own a gun…including the legal aspects.
This, we believe, has not kept pace and while there are more people registering for gun safety courses, it appears this is an area lagging behind. With gun ownership comes responsibility. We have all heard this and intellectually agree with it – but our actions aren’t supporting it. We see this especially in the area of understanding the laws that are important for gun owners to know and to be aware of as part of owning a gun. When someone purchases a firearm, regardless of what type, the first thing they want to do is go shoot it – this is the excitement component. We have all been there and probably still there when it comes to owning a firearm.
But how many of us sit back and say, maybe what I should do is not jump up and shoot the gun the day I buy it but map out a plan to be trained and educated before loading a round in the chamber. Not many think this way. There was a great story in the BrandonInfo.com titled, “Gals with Guns” that talked specifically about this and held an awesome event in Sioux Falls. You can read the article, but in a nutshell, Nancy Johnson was a lady who shied away from guns until this one Sunday when they held a big event to help women get comfortable with weapons. It was designed to educate and help women engage in shooting different weapons under strict supervision – where they could try them out, ask questions, get training, and yes, shoot. There were about 30 women who participated and it was very successful in helping them get on board with their firearms.
This is a great example of an organization and group taking the lead to do it the RIGHT WAY! They helped this group of women understand firearms, ask questions, and start on the right path to owning a firearm. Kudos to this group and their efforts. But we would also add one additional component to this discussion – what about understanding the law? What about the same type of event to help the same group focus in on their legal obligations to owning a firearm? We aren’t saying some of this didn’t happen at this particular event, but we know it isn’t happening at the majority of safety events or training overall. Yet, this has more impact on their lives than even learning how to shoot the weapon.
Understanding the legal aspects of owning, and yes transferring, a firearm is critical. Without it, the average person can create or participate in a felonious act without, in many cases even knowing it. This, in our opinion, is unacceptable and should be incorporated into any type of education around guns and safety. We applaud the training efforts in Sioux Falls and other places we hear about around the country. Now let’s help take it a step further and get knowledgeable about the law. We hope to help you in this regard as well and being part of our Gun Law Community will at least make people aware of the importance of this as part of their training. But everyone should demand to get more knowledgeable about the law in their city and state as well as federal – it could keep you and your family out of jail!!